It is both disheartening and hearbreaking to hear of yet another charity scandal in the news. We have already heard so much about charities abusing their donations and grants, harassing those who only wish to support them and now, Oxfam abusing their positions whilst working with vulnerable individuals in Haiti.
Every scandal that hits the news causes more negativity towards an already struggling sector.
I set up Stand Against Violence following the murder of my brother Lloyd in an effort to prevent others losing their lives to violence. We carry the memory and image of Lloyd through our work. Damage to our reputation goes hand in hand with the creation of a negative image of Lloyd and myself which we would simply never risk. Whilst SAV is a small charity, now in its 13th year, we have made sure we comply with the standards of best practice and governance that is expected of charities turning over millions of pounds. We are far from that size or level of turnover but we recognise the importance of strong and effective governance. Our governing body advise that small charities do not need the level of governance of the larger charities but we feel so strongly about our reputation and the safety of those we work with that we will comply with every standard and best practice we are aware of.
Of course there is always room to improve and we contiuously strive to be a safe and effective charity that utilises our funding and donations from our supporters for furthering our charitable aims and not on squandering them. Thanks to the diligence and scruitiny from a board which has a good mix of skills our governance rivals those of the public sector and the protection and dedication of our money is well guarded. To see who we have on our board and their skills please visit our about us page.
Unlike some other charities we do not chase money, we do not muddy our end goals to ensure good income, we do not sqander the funds so generously donated and we ensure that those in our team who work with young people are safe to do so.
To anyone who donates, who supports, or who volunteers with us we would like to say this: our governance and our proceedures are in place to protect you, the people we work with and the charity itself. We are happy to share with you ANY of our policies, processes, accounts and answer any questions you may have. We will always strive to be transparent, not to harass or pressure donors to give more and we would welcome anyone who wants to see how we work to attend meetings and workshops.
Oxfam have lost over £160,000 of donations due to the abuse of the vulnerable Haiti earthquake victims. This is probably a drop in the ocean for a charity the size of Oxfam but this level of donation to a charity like SAV would be goal changing. £160,000 would educate 53,333 (£3 per person) young people about violence and equip them with the skills and knowledge to stay safe. With an 84% success rate when it comes to changing attitudes towards violence we have potentially prevented over 44,799 young people coming to harm through engaging in violence.
Yes, it is a heavy work load ensuring up to date and robust policies, maintaining risk registers, overseeing and maintaining training, on top of the every day work of the charity; and in a team already working at full capacity but we can never underestimate the importance of good governance, safety and reputation.
If anyone would like to support our work you can donate here. We welcome and are grateful for all donors and donations and would happily invite you to see our work in action, witness our board function and review our governance at anytime. Please also feel free to contact us here.